With its gargantuan dancing ducks and toga-wearing teens, Village of the Giants reputation as the kookiest teen movie of the 1960s should come as a surprise to absolutely no one. That it’s based on renowned science fiction author H.G. Wells’ novel The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth only makes the whole thing all the kookier. Gordon took another crack at the material in 1976 with AIP’s Food of the Gods, a boiled-down adaptation of only the first part of the author’s larger work. Although the director tended to stay in his lane as a maker of giant creature nonsense, by that time, he and every other genre filmmaker were preoccupied with ripping off Jaws and upping whatever exploitation ante that they could. Village of the Giants, for all its massive shortcomings, still manages to stand tall as the go-to go-go sci-fi feature of its bright day… hailing from a time just before the world had reason to freak out over bigger problems.
The Village Detective: a song cycle tells of a mysterious canister of 35mm movie film rescued from the ocean floor by the crew of an Icelandic fishing vessel. The decades-submerged celluloid within proved to be four reels of a 1969 Soviet crime-comedy called The Village Detective (Derevensky detektiv). Having been down there for years, the film itself had taken on all kinds of peculiar chemical degradations. Although The Village Detective, directed by Ivan Lukinsky, is not considered any kind of rare or lost film, the physical damage to this print puts its discovery right in the wheelhouse of experimental documentarian Bill Morrison.
Given my own stated aversions to the Carnage character in general, it’s likely that any Venom follow-up featuring him would not be my cup of tea. The shock, then, is just how disposable, how generic, how hollow and adolescent this mess of pixels and wasted talent truly is. This Carnage is anything but maximum… It’s as though Sony top brass shrugged and said, “Let there be garbage”.